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Scouting the System: Breaking Down Nick Gonzales’ Swing

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Today, we’re going to take a look at Pittsburgh Pirates’ second base prospect Nick Gonzales, and a slight variation I noticed in his swing. Gonzales was drafted seventh overall in the first round of the 2020 draft by the Pirates. He’s currently penciled in as the second baseman of the future in Pittsburgh, with a swing that could win batting titles.

To get an idea of what the Pirates saw in Gonzales, let’s look at this video from his time with New Mexico State, via FanGraphs:

This video doesn’t show a lot of hitting from Gonzales, but shows consistently quick hands through the zone, and good hand-eye coordination as he tracks the pitch and makes solid contact a few times out in front of the plate with the barrel of the bat. Here is Baseball America’s view of his hitting ability from their pre-draft report.

“Gonzales is the prototypical baseball rat, though he has more innate hitting ability than most gritty, gamer types. He has elite bat-to-ball skills and plate discipline, and his strong hands allow him to make hard contact to all fields. He consistently finds the barrel and has excellent natural timing, allowing scouts to project 15-20 home runs even though he’s undersized.”

Gonzales is hitting .275/.357/.485 in his pro debut this year in Greensboro, with nine home runs. A few of those came recently, and two of them were captured by Baseball America’s Josh Norris:

Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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